Very perceptive article Gideon. You have raised the essential question: Why try to buy time when everyone in the world knows that sooner or later Israel will have to give up most of the West Bank? Why endure the disapproval of the entire world as a pariah state rather than just getting on with it? Now Israel faces the embarrassing and humiliating process of the rest of the world except the United States bringing more and more pressure on Israel until the inevitable is accomplished. Why go through sanctions, UN resolutions, trade embargoes, demonstrations and endless criticism? Does anyone but far right wing Israelis really think Israel can somehow keep the West Bank land and not the Palestinians? That has always been the desire and always will be the impossibility. Might as well get used to it.
PLO official: Reports about Abbas' resignation from political life very premature (Haaretz)
from the article: Netanyahu relegated himself to the footnotes of history